Workshops

I currently provide a limited number of face to face workshops and talks to groups during the year. (I am happy to consider talks via Zoom, groups will need a licence as I don’t hold one myself). Bookings for 2024 will be available from May to September

Below are some workshop options and I am happy to discuss more bespoke wishes of a group.

Natural Selection

(2 Day workshop, intermediate level, free-motion sewing)

Textured backgrounds and prints are created using hedgerow or garden plants and other printable objects such as feathers. You will build a collection from which to edit and compose through layering. You can chose a format on which to focus such as a small collage or body of samples.
We will look at focal elements and explore layering, machine and hand stitching techniques to add emphasis and complexity to your prints and use free machine stitching to employ a ‘stitch and tear’ technique using teabag paper to develop motifs. The workshop is designed to allow students to work in their own individual style using the techniques.

Rachael is a really clear teacher. The workshop was very well-organised. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and only wished it was longer, thank you! (Student, West Yorkshire)

Student work, with kind permission

Objects of Attention

(1 Day Workshop, suitable for any level, no sewing, kit)

Bring along a few objects that you consider treasures or interesting in some way. These might be vintage items or natural objects which have interesting forms and patterns. Using close observation of surface, form and pattern you will create a set of thin papers and tissues which will be painted, printed and marked using various paints and inks. A simple house form and small shelf will support and celebrate your treasure. Ideas for using the technique and further personal exploration will be discussed at the end of the day.

“Thoroughly enjoyed the day, it felt playful and relaxed and your timings were wonderful. I have learnt a lot, thank you.’ (Student – Manchester)

Unfolding Ferneries

(2 day workshop, intermediate level, free-motion sewing)

We will use gathered ferns and variety of fabrics and papers to form a scroll or small concertina book. This may be pieced on fabric or paper according to preference.  Text, letter stamps and lines of poetry  will be used to compliment the images, and you will be encouraged to move from Spring to Autumn colours as you work to tell the story of a fern.  You will then develop your fern motifs and a ‘stitch and tear’ technique will be demonstrated using teabag paper.  Hand or machine stitching will be used to personalise, embellish and add interest and texture.   Students will have spare prints which may be used for other small works or samples to accompany the unfolding fernery if time allows.

(1 day workshop, beginner to intermediate, free-motion or hand-stitch, kit) As above, but completed as a smaller, simple paper scroll with the likelihood that stitching will be completed at home following the workshop.

Sea and Stone

(1 Day Workshop, suitable for any level)

There is an option for this workshop to be based on either fabric-printing or paper collage.

Fabric: You will learn how to create successful pebble shapes that will be printed with acrylic paint onto muslin. Prints will be arranged into visually pleasing stacks which could be framed or finished as a hanging. Once dry, hand-stitch techniques will be explored to enhance and develop stone texture, colours, contrasts and marks. Individual fabric prints could also be used to patch together into a small art quilt or scroll.

Paper: Pebbles will be created individually out of a variety of papers and card. You will learn layering, mixed media techniques and combinations which create texture, colour and detail. Pebbles can be can be arranged in a variety of ways such as a small stack mounted proud of the background or arranged into a small concertina book.

Busy Bodies

(1 day workshop, suitable for any level, hand-stitch, straight machining for body shape)

Create your own keeper of memories that can be ‘sketched’ onto with hand-stitching and embellishments. Busy Bodies are designed to allow gentle stitching over time to build marks, patches, stitching or words that clothe a primitive doll form in personal memory. You might like to focus on a walk, a holiday, a family member, or gift one for a special occasion. We will explore different body forms before sewing and stuffing during the morning. In the afternoon, you will think about ways to represent thoughts in stitch and start your ‘stitch sketching’…